Kiowa: A Woman Missionary in Indian Territory

Synopsis

Near the close of the nineteenth century, Isabel Crawford went to the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation in Oklahoma and founded the Saddle Mountain Baptist Mission. This book, written in journal form, begins with her arrival at the reservation in 1896 and describes her decade-long crusade to convert the Indians to Christianity. She and her assistant were the only white women at the isolated station in the Wichita Mountains. Crawford's experience there tested her resourcefulness, her endurance, and sometimes her faith. Humor marks her journal as she recounts her struggles to establish a formal mission. She lived with the Indians, at first putting up in a tipi and adjusting, not without difficulty, to their ways. She was "the Jesus woman" who taught the Ten Commandments. In her wake came camp meetings, baptisms, and "big eats". Through the years Isabel Crawford and her Indian brothers and sisters were bound more closely as they raised money to build a church. Though written with Christian purpose, Kiowa: A Woman Missionary in Indian Territory shows Crawford's sensitivity to Kiowa history and culture during a period of transition. The mission still exists and Isabel Crawford is still remembered kindly.

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